We paddled downstream from the kayak launch point and turned into a siding named "Three Sisters" after the three natural springs that occur inside. Instantly Elena and I were thrilled and excited to see a mother and calf manatee head straight for us and slide beneath our kayak out into the main river. Inside the little spring-fed lake there were several more of the gentle giants, mostly sleeping on the shallow riverbed and surfacing for air every twenty minutes or so.
Manatees, or Sea Cows are wonderfully gentle herbiforous marine mammals which can grow up to 4 m. long and weigh as much as 590 kgs. They are naturally curious and seem quite unafraid of people, often surfacing by a kayak to be petted. Swimmers can gently touch them without causing alarm, it is all just a simply amazing wildlife encounter. The water is genuinly crystal clear and turquoise blue because of the white sandy bed.